Articles | Volume 18, issue 10
Research article
18 Oct 2022
Research article |  | 18 Oct 2022

Comparison of the green-to-desert Sahara transitions between the Holocene and the last interglacial

Huan Li, Hans Renssen, and Didier M. Roche

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Cited articles

Amaral, P. G. C., Vincens, A., Guiot, J., Buchet, G., Deschamps, P., Doumnang, J.-C., and Sylvestre, F.: Palynological evidence for gradual vegetation and climate changes during the African Humid Period termination at 13 N from a Mega-Lake Chad sedimentary sequence, Clim. Past, 9, 223–241,, 2013. 
Bakker, P., Stone, E. J., Charbit, S., Gröger, M., Krebs-Kanzow, U., Ritz, S. P., Varma, V., Khon, V., Lunt, D. J., Mikolajewicz, U., Prange, M., Renssen, H., Schneider, B., and Schulz, M.: Last interglacial temperature evolution – a model inter-comparison, Clim. Past, 9, 605–619,, 2013. 
Bathiany, S., Claussen, M., and Fraedrich, K.: Implications of climate variability for the detection of multiple equilibria and for rapid transitions in the atmosphere-vegetation system, Clim. Dynam., 38, 1775–1790, 2012. 
Short summary
In past warm periods, the Sahara region was covered by vegetation. In this paper we study transitions from this green state to the desert state we find today. For this purpose, we have used a global climate model coupled to a vegetation model to perform transient simulations. We analyzed the model results to assess the effect of vegetation shifts on the abruptness of the transition. We find that the vegetation feedback was more efficient during the last interglacial than during the Holocene.